Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Requirements Audiences

Requirements documents have several audiences, including:
  • Users
  • Buyers
  • Product designers
  • Product developers
  • Product testers
  • Product marketers
  • Sales people
Typically, users and buyers know little about the technologies that designers and developers will use to build the product. Designers and developers typically are not in the same industry as users and buyers and do not share the same profile.

Users and buyers should be able to read a requirements document and validate that it captures the problems they are trying to solve. Designers and developers should be able to read the same document and grasp the market problems with which they likely have no first-hand familiarity. At the same time, the requirements should be specific and measurable enough to design and develop the product.

In documenting and communicating the requirements for the product, your product manager thus has the challenging task of making the requirements understandable yet precise to very different audiences.

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